Didier Raoult, the French expert who touted hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19, prompting US President Donald Trump to call it a ‘miracle cure’ and start taking it himself – has said that a study debunking it as useless is “half-baked.”
The controversial doctor defiantly called the study “foireux”, which is a vulgar French term meaning ‘useless’, ‘half-baked’, or ‘foolish’, saying the results are based on “poorly mastered big data”.
The news comes as the World Health Organization announced it was suspending clinical trials for hydroxychloroquine amid health concerns.
Professor Raoult made the comments in a 9-minute YouTube video published by the IHU Mediterranee-Infection, the hospital in Marseille, of which he is the director. He also said as much in a tweet he captioned with his views of big data and the link to the YouTube footage.
The caption reads: “The latest studies published on hydroxychloroquine show a discrepancy between observational data and retrospective analyses of patient databases. At the IHU, we trust reality, not poorly mastered big data.”
The footage has nearly 400,000 views despite only being published yesterday (25th May).
He said: “How do you want a messed up study done with big data to change what we saw?”
He added that big data “is a kind of completely delusional fantasy, which takes data of which we do not know the quality and which mixes up everything.”
While highlighting his own experience in the treatment of people infected with coronavirus, the doctor refused to take into account the conclusions of “those who only have secondary information”.
According to him, the “real question that arises” is to draw the difference “between real work with daily vision” and the “nonsense” published by someone “in the literature”.
Two recently published studies, one Chinese and one French, had found that hydroxychloroquine did not significantly reduce the risks of admission to intensive care or death in patients hospitalised with pneumonia due to COVID-19.
Another study, with data on a total of 96,000 patients, published in the journal Lancet, concluded that neither chloroquine nor hydroxychloroquine were effective against COVID-19 in hospitalised patients.
The professor has become a controversial figure in the quest to find a cure for coronavirus, with some criticising his approach and his statements, while others praise him, even going as far as to give him messiah-like status.
One man in Marseille even had a tattoo of Didier done on his leg, as can be seen in these images.
The man, identified only as Hugo, from Marseille, had the tattoo of Raoult carried out at a studio in the south-eastern port city of Marseille, in the department of Bouches-du-Rhone, which is in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur region.
The tattoo artist, who goes by the name Pascal SqualeTattoo, works in Marseille, which is also where Didier Raoult works and the footage shows some foam being cleaned away to reveal the face of the famous researcher.
A red “Made in Marseille” ‘stamp’ can be seen just under the portrait of the famous physician and microbiologist.
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